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Dabrowski falls in French Open mixed doubles final; Fernandez rolls on

Jun 07, 2019
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Mate Pavic failed to score a bit of revenge on Friday. In a rematch of last year’s French Open mixed doubles final, Dabrowski and Pavic lost in straight sets to Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig 6-1, 7-6 (5).

Despite a valiant effort, the Canadian-Croatian duo were unable to accomplish what they couldn’t in 2018. It was just a year ago that the pair lost in heartbreaking fashion to Chan and Dodig in the final at Roland-Garros, falling 1-6, 7-6(5), [8-10].

Dabrowski and Pavic battled hard and didn’t make it easy for the defending champions. After losing the final four games of the opening set, Dabrowski and Pavic managed to score an early break in the second set and jump up to a 4-1 lead.

However, Chan and Dodig responded by scoring a break of their own to square the second set and force a tiebreak. There, Dabrowski and Pavic scored a mini-break to level the tiebreak and did all they could to extend the match. But ultimately, the two-time champs would score a mini-break to close out the match.

Despite this disappointing result, Dabrowski has a ton of positives to draw from this clay-court season.

Dabrowski and her partner Yifan Xu played in their first-ever French Open quarter-final in women’s doubles. Previously, the pair had failed to get past the third round in each of the last two seasons. In the lead-up to Roland-Garros, Dabrowski and Xu also secured their first title of the year by winning the 2019 Nuremberg Open.

The Ottawa native’s appearance in the mixed doubles final was her third in a row in Paris, and the second-straight time it was with Croatia’s Pavic. Back in 2017, playing with India’s Rohan Bopanna, Dabrowski won the French Open mixed doubles title to become the first Canadian woman to ever win a Grand Slam.

Fernandez set to play in second-straight Grand Slam final

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

For a second-straight time in 2019, Leylah Annie Fernandez is one win away from earning her first career Junior Grand Slam title.

The 16 year old from Laval secured her spot in the Junior Girls’ French Open final on Friday – defeating the No.3 seed, Columbian Maria Camila Osorio Serrano in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

The victory makes Fernandez just the second Canadian to ever reach the girls’ French Open final, and the first since New Westminster’s Sonya Jeyaseelan in 1994.

Despite being the favourite in Paris, Fernandez has continued to handle the pressure. Coming into this match, the young Canadian was riding a nine-match winning streak and had won 22 straight games – a streak that came to a close early in the first set.

But that didn’t stop Fernandez from maintaining her dominant play. The lefty converted six of 10 break point opportunities – including one to close out the opening set, and another to win the match. She also notched 71 winners, 16 more than her opponent.

Fernandez will now face the No. 8 seed and American Emma Navarro in the final – having already bested her result from 2018. Last year, Fernandez lost in the Junior French Open semi-finals to Navarro’s compatriot Cori Gauff.

Leylah will also be playing in her second-career Grand Slam final. Earlier this year, she lost in the Junior Australian Open final to Denmark’s Clara Tauson in straight sets.

Fernandez will be looking to improve on that result when she faces Navarro in the final on Saturday. The young Canadian has yet to drop a set through five matches at this year’s Junior French Open.

Can Leylah secure his first ever Grand Slam title on Saturday? Tune in on TSN3 or TSN5 tomorrow 5:00am ET/2:00am PT to watch.

(Photo: Mauricio Paiz)